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CONTACTS Maximising value through next generation enterprise applications

Matthew Cook, managing executive: application services, Business Connexion

Farren Roper, head: FNB Connect ISP and Business Operations

Paul Steenkamp, head of employment branding and FNB innovators, FNB

Andre Vermeulen, managing executive: application services, Business Connexion
Biography Biography Biography Biography

Matthew Cook, application development manager, Business Connexion

Matthew Cook joined Business Connexion in 2007 as solution design manager. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of Johannesburg, in IT, and went on to complete numerous post-graduate studies.

Cook has worked as a software developer and technical account manager at Logical and Oakwell Solutions respectively. Before being promoted to his current position, he worked as a solution design manager. He has worked across the globe on focused solutions, from providing logistical track and trace solutions in the US to building software to control and manage a ready-mix cement plant in Vietnam.

In his current position as head of Centre of Excellence for Application Development, he is responsible for managing all new application development in emerging technologies.

Cook has had the opportunity to present at numerous industry-recognised events, ranging from Microsoft developer conferences to SAP Africa User Groups.

His strong technical background coupled with an insatiable desire for problem-solving facilitates Cook’s role, which entails envisioning technical solutions to business problems. Cook is passionate about driving technology in an emerging economy.

*** Appointed to head of Centre of Excellence: Application Development in November 2011


Farren Roper , head: FNB Connect ISP and Business Operations
Within FNB Connect, Farren Roper manages the business environment and team. He is responsible for business case development, taking new and existing products to market, customer experience, the contact centre, strategic marketing and digital strategy.

Roper is currently studying towards a PHD in technology innovation and holds multiple degrees and qualifications, which include: a Master of Business Administration degree from Unisa, which he obtained in 2010, a Bachelor of Commerce degree with a major in economics, and an LLB degree, which he obtained from the University of Johannesburg in 2001 and 2003 respectively. He subsequently obtained a qualification on Brand Building from the Vega School of Branding.

Roper began his banking career as a student in 1999. On his path to becoming a qualified attorney, he was appointed as a general office assistant at a Johannesburg law firm, where he was promoted to candidate attorney. He was then headhunted to join Bouwer Kobeli & Morabe Attorneys in 2002, and later appointed to Clover SA as a legal advisor. His legal career opened a path for him to FNB Connect in 2008, when he was appointed as head of Legal Risk and Compliance, and quickly became a telecommunications regulatory and governance specialist.

His passion for business resulted in his subsequent appointments as operations manager, head of Products and Markets, and then head of the ISP and Business Operations. He is also an executive director of a telecommunications wholesale company owned by FirstRand Investments Holdings. Roper continues to be a true example of “climbing the corporate ladder” with great success.


Paul Steenkamp, managing executive: application services, Business Connexion

Paul Steenkamp – head of Employment Branding and FNB Innovators Paul Steenkamp grew up wondering why most adults were so grumpy all the time. He concluded, at a very young age, that it had something to do with the work they did. He believes that innovation is the most fun you can have at work. FNB Innovators is an employee programme designed to protect and nurture a culture of innovation at FNB.

For those impressed by pieces of paper, he holds an MBA from Henley Business School (UK) and an honours degree in Industrial Psychology (both of which hang in the single toilet at home). If memberships are your thing, he is a member of the South African Innovation Network and the South African Organisational Development Network.

Steenkamp is slave to his five-year-old daughter, Olivia, and is managed by his wife, Janene. They live in Bryanston with their four sort-of dogs.


Andre Vermeulen, head of employment branding and FNB innovators, FNB
Andre Vermeulen is responsible for the Application Development Services within the Business Connexion Group. With over 15 years in this specialised field, he has delivered projects in several countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom, fulfilling different roles within the SDLC (System Development Life Cycle).

After graduating (Cum Laude) in BCom: Informatics at the University of Pretoria 1996 – top of his class - Vermeulen’s passion for software development has been greatly supported by Business Connexion during his decade of service.

In his current role as managing executive: Application Services, he is driving SaaS (software as a service) and cloud computing strategies within his business unit. With Vermeulen’s passion for software development as well as his accumulated skills and experience, he remains hugely optimistic about IT solutions developed on the African continent.

Memberships: Agile User Group, Services EXCO, Professional Services EXCO.

***Appointed to Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in 2011



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Business Connexion, the leading integrator of innovative business solutions based on information and communications technology, is at the forefront of Applications Services. Business Connexion has a proven track record in leading-edge development initiatives aimed at releasing business value through the expert use of technology. For more information please visit

You can also visit the Business Connexion Application Services Executive forum mobisite at

Business must embrace next-gen appsAndre Vermeulen
10 Jan 2013 – Next generation enterprise applications will allow organisations to leverage what they have, says Business Connexion.